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Sermon Illustrations 2

We needed a second page to handle all of the illustrations.



There was a little boy with a bad temper, who would fly off in a rage at the slightest provocation. His father wanted to help him learn of this danger, so he gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back fence.

It was a hard task. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. He learned about the dangers...Then it gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there. "


1. "That drive-through restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on. Who would want to order something at a window while still in your car?"
2. "There is no sense going to Lincoln or Omaha anymore for a weekend. It costs nearly $15 a night to stay in a hotel."
3. "Anymore, no one can afford to be sick. $35 a day in the hospital is too rich for my blood."
4. "If a few idiots want to risk their necks flying across the country that's fine, but nothing will ever replace trains."
5. "I don't know about you but if they raise the price of coffee to 15 cents, I'll just have to drink mine at home."
6. "If they think I'll pay 50 cents for a hair cut, forget it. I'll have my wife learn to cut hair."
7. "We won't be going out much anymore. Our baby sitter informed us she wants 50 cents an hour. Kids think money grows on trees."
8. "Cars that dim there lights by sensors, automatic transmissions, and who knows what else? Pretty soon they will drive themselves."

When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in 0 gravity. To combat this problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion developing a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 300 C.

The Russians used a pencil.

At one time a hardened atheist, writer C.S. Lewis learned of a benevolent and loving God who cared about him. Lewsi was able to overcome his terrible childhood memories and come to Jesus.  he said, "In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed . . . . The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation." Then Lewis made a specific step to accept Jesus as the God/man, the Savior. "I was now approaching the source from which those arrows of Joy had been shot at me ever since childhood. . . . No slightest hint was vouchsafed me that there ever had been or ever would be any connection between God and Joy. If anything, it was the reverse. I had hoped that the heart of reality might be of such a kind that we can best symbolize it as a place; instead, I found it to be a Person."


Here's a fantastic story about a person who wouldn't let obtacles overcome his life:
Charles Steinmetz was born with severe limitations - he was a cripple, as people of his day would say.  He was dwarfish in appearance and suffered from a severe hunchback deformity.  His mother died before he was one year old, but his poverty-stricken father decided to give his child the best love and care he could.  With little money, his father made ends meet and helped his grwoing child learn.  Charles could not run and play but he could read and learn, and he found an interest in science.  Making up his mind to make his discoveries for the benefit of mankind, he studied hard and then immigrated to the U.S.
  Talk about more difficulties! He knew not a word of English and has such a deformed appearance that the port authorities were tempted to return him to his native Switzerland. With defective sight and torn clothes, Charles found a job that paid him twelve dollars a week. Working for the small fledgling company General Electric, Charles Steinmetz quickly showed himself to be one of the greatest experts in the world in the field of electricity. His career was a stunning series of ground-breaking research and development. As his death in 1923, Charles Steinmez was honored as one of the founding fathers of the powerful General Electric. I hope you will remember this story whenever you face hardship and obstacles. 


For this "show and tell" illustration you will need magician's flash paper which you can buy at a hobby shop. Write the word SIN or even a couple of particular sins like GREED, LYING, THEFT on the special paper. Tell the teens that when we ask for God to forgive us of those sins, he forgives and forgets completley... no residue or remembrance. The magician's flash paper will burst into a flame and disappear, leaving no residue at all! This is a powerful visual on the complete forgiveness of God.



No matter how high you attain great heights and do mighty things, there are always some people or something that will be quick to bring you down. Take this story printed in "Today in the Word," on March 7, 1993:
"Shortly after the 1912 presidential election, Woodrow Wilson visited an aged aunt whom he hadn't seen for a long time.
"What are you doing these days, Woodrow?" she asked.
"I've just been elected president," replied Wilson.
"Oh, yes? President of what?" inquired the aunt.
"Of the United States."
"Don't be silly!" she snorted impatiently.


As you talk about Heaven, show two identical balloons ...however, one has helium and one has NO helium in it. Tell the teens you want them to guess which balloon they think will hit the ceiling first when you release them. Let the teens cheer and make predictions.
let the crowd count down from five and release the balloons. Of course, one rises while the other will fall down.
You then pretend you are shocked but continue to explain that when it comes to your future in Heaven, outward appearance is not what God is seeking. It is what is INSIDE the person that counts, and salvation by Jesus Christ is the "lift"!



Years ago, a very powerful and much-loved Senate Chaplain gave a story to the many audiences across the country. The man's name was Peter Marshall, and he is still considered one of the most influential Christians in Washington D.C.'s history. He liked to give a little talk about an old man who lived next to a spring in an Austrian village in the Alps.

The little town gave a small sum to the old man to watch over a local spring. The old man loved the spring and took good care of it. He would pull weeds and remove branches from it. He would feed the ducks and swans, and he would skim the surface of the spring. Soon the spring was clean, the wildlife was abundant, and the place was picture-pretty. People came to see the spring and enjoy the scenery, and word got around. Tourists started to visit. Crowds grew, and the little town had a good business going. In fact, it got so good that every business in town benefited from the beautiful spring.

The town leaders were in a meeting, discussing what to do with this new profit coming their way. As they discussed their plans, it was mentioned that the town was paying a stipend to the old man to keep the spring tidy. "What! We could use that money elsewhere. The guy's an old coot, and doesn't need to be messing around with our spring. Let's cut his pay," blasted some of the leaders. So they did.

In fact, they dropped his pay altogether. The man was no longer around to do cleaning, and scum began to grow on the surface. Swans and ducks left, and branches clogged up the spring. People didn't come any more. Businesses lost income. Desperately, the leaders saw their mistake and hired the old man again. After careful cleaning, the town again prospered when the spring was cleaned up. The leaders learned their lesson.

Peter Marshall used this story to talk about the influence of Christians in their local surroundings. He emphasized that people may think you strange and even unlikeable. But what a difference and influence you have! He mentioned that a society without a Godly representative is a sorry society indeed. So, let's take his story to heart; we are an influence on the area around us. Don't lose hope - you are making an influence as you follow the Lord!



Race officials said was the slowest time in marathon history: four days, two hours, 48 minutes, 17 seconds. Bob Wieland started the 1986 New York marathon at 8:23 a.m.  - more than two hours before the main body of runners. When he at last crossed the finish line on Thursday, November 6, 1986, he was the Marathon's 19,413th and final finisher.  Why was he so slow?

He was the first to run a marathon with his arms instead of his legs! Wieland is a 40-year old Californian whose legs were blown off in a Vietnam battlefield 17 years ago, but he ran the race partly to display to his born-again Christian faith. Wieland runs in a sitting position on a 15 pound saddle, using his muscular arms like crutches to lift his torso and swing forward at a pace of one mile per hour. He covers his clenched fists with pads to protect them in the grueling race.  Race director Fred Lebow personally came to congratulate him in his finish and present his finisher's medal.




The Lord has given you great abilities, but many times you may face a setback early in your life. Don't lose hope! Take courage from these examples:

* Wilma Rudolph, the great Olympic gold medalist, was born with Polio. Her parents were told she might not ever even walk.
* Michael Jordan, the all-time greatest NBA Player, was actually cut from his high school basketball team in his early teens.
* Babe Ruth, second in major league baseball all-time in home runs, struck out twice as many times as he hit a homerun.



They say that a preacher's wife is always his number one assistant. An example of this comes one Sunday morning after the preacher had just finished his sermon. He went and sat down with his wife and she asked him how he thought the church service went.

The Preacher shrugged and said, "The worship was excellent, and I think the prayer and communion times went quite well, but," he continued, "I just don't think the sermon ever got off the ground."

The wife looked over at him, and before she could stop herself, she said, "Well, it sure did taxi long enough!"


A report came out about an unusual business move by the owner of a South Korean movie house. It seems that the theater owner decided that the movie "The Sound of Music" was too long. He decided to take care of the problem by shortening the movie. How did he do it? By cutting out all of the musical scenes!
How many Christians, though, actually cut worship and prayer out of their lives in order to accomodate their own lifestyle? Seems to us that they have the same distorted priorities that the theater owner had.


George Bush was walking down the street and saw Moses about a block ahead of him.
Shouting, Bush asked Moses to slow down, as he wanted to talk to him. Moses ignored him and walked faster. Bush yelled again but Moses kept walking. Finally, Bush caught up to Moses,and asked why he was ignoring him.
Moses turned to Bush and said, "The last time I talked to a Bush, I had to spend forty years in the desert alone!"


So may teens have the idea that God is mean when He says that we should wait until marriage to pursue sexual relationships. Here's a good way to illustrate the power of waiting: Pretend you were 12 years old and a PRIZE PATROL came to your home, called for YOU and gave you $1000...with an option: You could take the $1000 now or, if you waited until you were 21, you would receive a million dollars. Wouldn't the wait be worth it...?


It's one thing to TALK about Jesus, but another thing to show him.  A reporter actually saw this following incident occur, and wrote about it in a New York newspaper:
It was on a cold day in December when a little boy about 10 years old was standing before a shoe store on the street, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and said, "My little fellow, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?"
"I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes," was the boy's reply. The lady took him by the hand and went into the store and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought to her. She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with a towel. By this time the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy's feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, "No doubt, my little fellow, you feel more comfortable now?"
  As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her by the hand, and looking up in her face, with tears in his eyes, answered the question with these words: "Are you God's wife?"
     People may hear us chatting about God and what good things we OUGHT to do, but when we actually SHOW the love of the Lord, that's when people will identify us with the family of God. When is the last time you showed the love of God to someone?


Mary Poppins was traveling and decided to stop at a hotel. She approached the receptionist and asked for a room for the night.
"Certainly, madam", he replied courteously.
"Is the resturant still open?" inquired Mary.
"Sorry, no," came the reply, "but room service is available all night. Would you care to select something from this menu?"
Mary smiled and took the menu. "Hmm, I would like cauliflower cheese please," said Mary.
"Certainly madam," he replied. "And may I have breakfast in bed?" asked Mary politely.
The receptionist nodded and smiled.
"In that case, I would love a couple of poached eggs please," Mary requested.
After confirming the order, Mary signed in and went up to her room for the night.
The night passed uneventfully and next morning Mary came down early to check out.
The same guy was still on the desk. "Morning madam...sleep well?"
"Yes, thank you," Mary replied.
"Food to your liking?"
"Well, I have to say the cauliflower cheese was exceptional, I don't think I have had better. Shame about the eggs ....they really weren't that nice at all," replied Mary truthfully.
"Oh...well, perhaps you could contribute these thoughts to our Guest Comments Book. We are always looking to improve our service and would value your opinion," said the receptionist.
"Ok I will...thanks!" replied Mary....who then checked out, paused awhile, then scribbled a comment into the book. Waving, she left to continue her journey.
Curious, the receptionist picked up the book to see the comment Mary had written. Here it is.........



A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his name missing from the town register. His wife insisted on complaining to the local civic official who apologized profusely saying, "I must have taken Leif off my census."

Many years ago, in the South Pacific, there was a small island kingdom that was ruled by a kind and benevolent King. Each year, on the King's birthday, the residents of the island gave the King a new throne as a token of their love and respect for him. Each year, the King would put last year's gift up in the attic of his small house. After many years of ruling the island, the weight of the large number of birthday presents stored up in the attic became too heavy and caused the house to fall down. The moral of the story is that people in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones.




Sin is nothing else than that the creature willeth otherwise than God willeth, and contrary to Him.
Theologia Germanica

Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us....  Paine, Thomas

Thanksgiving is the language of heaven, and we had better start to learn it if we are not to be mere dumb aliens there.
A. J. Gossip


The preacher was at the back of the church handshaking as the congregation left the church following the sermon. After shaking a few adult hands he came upon the seven year old son of one of the Deacons of the church.

"Good morning, Billy," the preacher said as he reached out to shake the boy's hand.

As he was doing do he felt something in the palm of Billy's hand. "What's this?" the preacher asked.

"Money," said Billy with a big smile on his face, "It's for you!"

"I don't want to take your money, son," the preacher answered.

"I want you to have it," said Billy. After a short pause the boy continued, "My daddy says you're the poorest preacher we ever had and I want to help you."

by Donna Chappell
A wealthy man was very ill; he knew that death was near.
Of all the things he had in life his money was most dear.

Hed worked and labored all his life. He loved the wealth he'd made.
He didn't want to leave it so he prayed and prayed and prayed.

He prayed so long and earnestly that an angel heard his plea,
Appeared to him and said, "My man, this thing just cannot be."

He asked the angel, "Please, oh please ask God if just this time
He'll let me bring the thing Ive worked so hard for all my life."

"I'll ask him," said the angel. Then he left and went away.
The wealthy man continued then to pray and pray and pray.

When he returned the angel said, "The Lord has heard your prayer.
When you go to Heaven, take one suitcase with you there."

Overjoyed, the rich man filled his largest suitcase up
With pure gold bars. He stuffed and stuffed and filled it to the top.

Before too long he met St. Peter at the Pearly Gate.
St. Peter first said "Enter." But then he told him, "Wait!"

"You can't bring earthly things in here, through the Gates of Glory."
So the man told Peter of his prayers, recounting the whole story.

Peter checked it out, and said, "What you have said is true.
But I must check the contents before you can go through."

So he looked inside, and on his face was utter disbelief.
"Why," said he, "have you brought from earth more

You might stop is a store and see the meat section display saying "Fresh Turkey" or "This Turkey Never Frozen" and you assume it's fresh. However, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FDA states that to be called fresh, a turkey has to be stored at above 26F, the freezing point for poultry. However, the label still doesn't have to say frozen unless it was stored at 0F or less. You know what this means? A company can legally say a turkey was never frozen, even if it was stored at 1F.

WITNESSING: The importance of accuracy

Insurance Claims

It's important that a witness for Jesus Christ be bold, clear and accurate as he tells the truth of salvation's way.  As you emphasize the importance of being clear, read this now-famous and still-hilarious accidetn reports. The following are real statements found on insurance claim forms. Drivers attempted to summarize the details of an accident succinctly:

Coming home, I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't have.

I thought my window was down, but found it was up when I put my head through it.

The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intentions.

The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.

I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law and headed over the embankment.

In my attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole.

I had been shopping for plants all day and was on my way home. As I reached an intersection a hedge sprang up obscuring my vision, and I did not see the other car.

The telephone pole was approaching. I was attempting to swerve out of its way when it struck the front end.

I was thrown from the car as it left the road. I was later found in the ditch by some stray cows.

The indirect cause of the accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.

I had been driving for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.

I was on my way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have an accident.

As I approached the intersection a sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.

To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck the pedestrian.

My car was legally parked as it backed into the other vehicle.

An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car and vanished.

I told the police that I was not injured, but upon removing my hat found that I had a fractured skull.

I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of the curb when I struck him.

The pedestrian had no idea which direction to run, so I ran over him.


King George I of England had a problem...he could not speak English! Being born and raised in Germany, he never learned to speak English ...and he was King of England from 1714 to 1727! No, he didn't make an effort to learn...he left the running of the country to his ministers. Think of it - a representative of a country who could not speak the some Christians who cannot testify of the Lord's love, because they have never bothered to learn of it!


For this illustration, have a crisp new $20 bill. Hold it up, describe it and ask the teens who would like to have the bill. Obviously every hand will go up, so roll the bill and twist it so that it is wrinkled. Now ask the teens who would want's a sure thing that all hands will be up. Proceed to take the bill, and drop it on the floor, rubbing it in the carpet and/or cement floor. Jump on it a few times and poke at it. Now ask the teens who wants it; and most likely every hand will be up.

Ask them why they want the $20 bill - it's dirty, wrinkled and no longer as pretty as it once was. Let THEM tell you that the crisp bill is worth the same as a dirty one. The fact that is dirty and wrinkled doesn't decrease its value.

You can then tell the teens that in God's eyes, our worth has the same parallel. Even if our background is poor, God loves us the same. Even when sin leaves us dirty God still loves us. Even when we repent and still carry those guilt feelings around, God finds us to be of great worth.

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